Jouni, la Réserve de Nice

May 9, 2007

For reasons which are too complicated to describe here, Linda and I dined at Jouni’s new restaurant the evening of May 8, 2007. We had planned not to go there until the upstairs floor with the upscale restaurant had been completed and was in order, but it didn’t work out that way. We were told that the upstairs would open in ten more days, but no one seemed sure of that. In the meanwhile, the ground floor, which is destined to become a bistro, is open with the menu from the original Jouni, atelier de gout on the Rue Lascaris, which we have posted before from our meals in December and last June. 

There was a big crowd this evening, probably four times what the old place could handle, but most of the staff is already on hand for the two-floor operation. Jouni occasionally came out of the kitchen to check things and his partner, Giuseppe Serena, was bustling about supervising the dining room. The meal moved along all right, although we had a significant delays to order our apéritif and to receive our dessert. A few tables were used twice and there was some kind of service upstairs. jouni2.jpg

With the arrival of the nice weather the one row of tables outside along the balcony rail directly over the sea were in use. They were clearly the best places to sit, although with the sliding glass doors open everyone had some fresh air along with the terrific view including the port, the Rauba Capeu, the Promenade des Anglais, the airport, Cap d’Antibes and the Esterel beyond. I assume that the upstairs dining room will also have a balcony. There is a bar on the end of the ground floor where cigar smoking is allowed, or maybe even encouraged. When we arrived, a valet parker took our car. We were promptly seated and a waiter we knew from the old place came by to say hello, but our table waiter took a while to find us. The menu formula is still as before: Three choices each for the first course, the main course and the dessert (or cheese) at 65€. For 90€ one can have all three starters, one main course and both cheese and dessert; normally we would have chosen the bigger menu, but we were afraid of the time it might take since the restaurant was full and is still getting organized. 

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So we ordered two glasses of champagne. Shortly after they arrived the amuse-gueule was served, a pleasant small bowl of cream of carrot soup. We ordered a bottle of 2003 Domaine Sorin, a red Bandol which I did not know before, but was quite good.

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Linda started with anchovy filets on toasts. There were six fresh filets which have a clean taste, quite different from the preserved ones we are used to.

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I had sweetbreads formed into sort of a cake with slices of spicy chorizo sausage and a piperade of sweet peppers and onions.

  

We both had pigeon for our main course. It was nice and crisp on the outside and pink on the inside. jouni5.jpgThe fresh peas with it had been cooked with morels, fava beans, artichoke slices and lettuce leaves into a slightly mushy combination (à la Française, façon sud) which tasted better than it sounds.

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There was a nice little pre-dessert of fresh sheep’s cheese with a red sauce and a strawberry.  jouni7.jpgMy orange soufflé for dessert was cooked perfectly, but Linda’s was underdone and so not really fluffy. They were served with a small glass of orange and rum. A plate of four little financières finished the meal.  

All in all the meal was at about the same level as it had been at Jouni on the Rue Lascaris. But the homey, intimate atmosphere has been replaced by a modern, vibrant one with a spectacular view and annoying music. It remains to be seen whether the eventual upscale restaurant upstairs will cater to traditional people like us who like a calmer ambience or to a younger crowd. On the way out I told Giuseppe that I did not care for the music and he simply said that they were still working things out.  

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One Response to “Jouni, la Réserve de Nice”

  1. jerry vance Says:

    michael several were out of focus but looked like a great sunset.


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